Heavy vehicle registration scheme

Heavy vehicles and heavy mobile machinery are registered under the Motor Vehicle (National Heavy Vehicle Registration fees) Regulations 2008.

The regulations make provision for nationally consistent registration fees adjusted annually to recover the costs of heavy vehicle impact on roads. As well as a road component, registration fees also include a new regulatory component. Find out more on the NTC website.

All vehicles and trailers with a Gross Vehicles Mass (GVM) or Aggregate Trailer mass (ATM) of more than 4.5 tonnes, which are three years of age or over from date of manufacture, will need to be inspected prior to the vehicle being registered in South Australia in a new vehicle owner's name. This includes vehicles in the NHVR Maintenance Accreditation Scheme but excludes buses and special purpose vehicles such as tractors, agricultural and road-making equipment.

Vehicles affected by the national vehicle registration

National vehicle registration applies to:

  • all vehicles and trailers with a GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes
  • prime movers with a GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes
  • special purpose vehicles with an unladen mass or GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes.

National registration fees and charges

Registration charges are based on the expected road use of heavy vehicles and trailers (type, mass and number of axles). Fees for third-party bodily insurance are also payable when paying registration charges.

  • Additional charges can apply when a rigid truck or prime mover tows two or more trailers, and changing the nominated configuration of your vehicle may also alter the fees payable.
  • Concessions and seasonal registration are available to primary producers and operators.
  • Special purpose vehicles such as fire appliances, graders, fork lifts, mobile cranes and self-propelled farm machines will only be charged registration when truck-based or overmass.
  • Plant does not attract a registration charge.
  • In some cases, photo evidence of the vehicle may be required to determine its registration class.

New National Heavy Vehicle Plate

From 1 July 2018, a national heavy vehicle plate will be issued to heavy vehicles garaged in South Australia whenever:

  • a new heavy vehicle is registered
  • a heavy vehicle is registered in a new name
  • a registration for a vehicle (that does not already have a national heavy vehicle plate) is transferred to a different participating jurisdiction
  • a lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen number plate is replaced
  • a vehicle registered previously on FIRS is renewed under South Australian registration.

The new national heavy vehicle plate will have a nationally consistent plate fee as detailed on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s website.

The Department for Infrastructure and Transport will continue to manage and administer licensing and vehicle registration services such as new registrations, renewals and changes to registration details.

Decommissioning of the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme

From 1 July 2018, the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) will be decommissioned and closed to new registrations and renewals. Further information regarding the closure of FIRS is available at the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities website.

Existing FIRS registration, and its associated rights and responsibilities, will be recognised by road authorities until the valid registration period ends. All new and renewal heavy vehicle registrations on and after this date will be delivered as part of the National Heavy Vehicle Registration Scheme. More details about the Scheme can be found on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s website.

FIRS vehicles moving to the Scheme will not be required to pay stamp duty on the market value of the vehicle during the transition period (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 inclusive) and will be issued a new National Heavy Vehicle plate by Service SA at the time of application.

The Motor Vehicles Act 1959 requires that a new plate issued to a vehicle be fitted by midnight on the day after receipt of the plate. Operators should take all reasonable steps to ensure the new plates are fitted to the vehicle as soon as is practical after registering the vehicle on South Australian registration.

Expired FIRS plates must be surrendered at a Service SA customer service centre within 21 days of receipt of the national heavy vehicle plate.

Contact National Heavy Vehicle Regulator


FIRS Closure Email- FIRS@nvhr.gov.au

Web- www.nhvr.gov.au

Registration labels on heavy vehicles

Registration labels on heavy vehicles are being removed.

From 1 November 2017, registration labels for trucks and buses over 4.5 tonnes (excluding FIRS vehicles) registered in South Australia will no longer need to be displayed.

Removing the requirement to display a label provides the ability to offer other payment methods such as monthly direct debit which is currently not available for heavy vehicles.

All states and territories have agreed to the removal of registration labels from heavy vehicles, across Australia by July 2018.

Notification of heavy vehicle registration expiry

Renewal notices will still be sent six weeks before the expiry date. You can also register for SMS or email reminders at www.enotice.sa.gov.au.

You can check the registration status of a South Australian registered vehicle online at any time using the Check Registration Expiry Date enquiry available on Ezyreg or you can download the EzyReg app to your smart phone.

The mySA GOV app for Android and iOS also allows you to add your vehicles and receive notifications when they are due to expire.

Evidence of current registration status

The EzyReg Check Registration Expiry Date enquiry can be searched by anyone at any time and the results include the expiry date and current vehicle configuration. This functionality is also available in the mySA GOV app.

It is also recommended that you keep the lower “tear off” portion of your registration details certificate in the vehicle. Although there is no legal requirement to do so the certificate will display the expiry date of registration of the vehicle and is provided as a reminder of your registration expiry date, for you and for others that might drive your vehicle

SAPOL and other enforcement agencies can check vehicle status online without the need to refer to a registration label.

You can also use the mySA GOV app or EzyReg to check whether someone else's vehicle is registered or not.

Travelling interstate

Interstate police and enforcement officers can check a vehicle status online without the need to refer to a registration label.

We recommend that you keep the lower “tear off” portion of your registration details certificate in the vehicle as a safeguard in case online services are not available. This portion does not contain any personal information or important vehicle identifiers.

If there is mobile coverage available, you can use the EzyReg Check Registration Expiry Date enquiry or the mySA GOV app to confirm your vehicle’s registration status.

Heavy vehicles registered under the FIRS

Heavy vehicles registered under the FIRS will still be required to display a registration label.

Expired registration labels

There is no requirement to remove your old label from 1 November 2017. You can keep an old label or remove the label any time after 1 November 2017.

Vehicles registered until November 2018

If the period of registration commences prior to 1 November 2017, you will receive a label and you should affix it to the vehicle in accordance with current requirements.

If the period of registration commences on or after 1 November 2017, no label will be produced. You should keep your existing label on the vehicle until 1 November 2017.

Missing registration labels

If the registration label came off after 1 November 2017, you do not need to obtain a replacement label.

If the registration label comes off before 1 November 2017 it will need to be re-affixed to the heavy vehicle before it can be driven.

Replacement labels

If the registration commences before 1 November 2017 you will be able to obtain a replacement label on application to a Service SA Customer Service Centre.

From 1 November 2017 replacement labels will not be available unless your vehicle is a FIRS vehicle.

Heavy special purpose vehicles

Heavy Special Purpose Vehicles will no longer need to display a registration label after 1 November 2017.

Selling or buying a heavy vehicle

When selling a vehicle, the seller is required to provide the registration details certificate to the buyer.

When purchasing a vehicle the buyer should ask to see the registration details certificate for the vehicle. The certificate should show the details of the person or company you acquired the vehicle from.

It is the responsibility of the buyer to check the registration expiry date before buying a second hand vehicle. This can be done in three ways:

Registration detection without labels

Advances in technology allows roadside registration checks to be carried out by South Australia Police to immediately check vehicle registration status using the vehicle number plate details. Unregistered vehicles may also be detected by speed, red light and other fixed cameras.

All vehicles used on South Australian roads must have valid registration. Driving an unregistered vehicle on the road may be committing an offence and the driver may not be covered by a compulsory third party insurance policy.

Under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959, it is an offence for a registered owner to allow an unregistered or uninsured vehicle to be driven on the road.

Heavy penalties apply for driving an unregistered, or unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

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Page last updated 23 July 2018

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Department for Infrastructure and Transport
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